Nick Saban sticking to routine amid Alabama shutdown

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Nick Saban said he's the only football coach in the office on the University of Alabama campus as all sports remain shut down due to the coronavirus.

"The whole world turned upside down so it's a little bit different for everybody," he said during a teleconference with reporters Thursday. "But I think the best thing we can do is adapt and adjust to it as best we can."

Saban wouldn't speculate on when or if college football would return in the fall, saying, "Nobody really knows. It's uncertain times."

He did, however, propose a possible remedy for the loss of spring practice that would move those 14 allotted practices to sometime before the start of preseason camp.

Citing the possibility of injuries, he said that those proposed 14 practices could be without pads or contact since the focus would be on instruction.

"I don't personally think that making fall camp longer is going to get anybody more ready to play," he said.

Alabama was originally scheduled to begin spring football practice March 13, but that was suspended as part of a league-wide shutdown of all sports-related activities. The SEC then canceled all spring football games and pro days as well.

Saban has remained a creature of habit during the shutdown, though, continuing his 7 a.m. staff meetings, albeit on the video conferencing app Zoom. He said that they've begun evaluating future opponents, which they wouldn't normally be doing this time of year. And the afternoon has been devoted to staying in contact with recruits.

They've remained in contact with current players as well, continuing a leadership seminar online and using the two-hour weekly window for football-related teaching. By providing Apple Watches and apps, he said the training staff has helped players stay in shape while they're away.

Saban, who recorded a public service announcement recently, said he'll continue to encourage people to stay safe and be responsible during the ongoing pandemic.

"We have to ... think about what's ahead of us, what the future is, what we want to happen and try to do the things correctly today so we can have the best chance to get the outcome in the future," he said. "And I think that's everybody's responsibility."